As he continues his explanation of the mystical understanding of what the soul inherits, Hazrat Inayat Khan now speaks of what is received from the mother and from the father. The previous post in the series may be found here.
That which is outward is given in heritage more than that which is inward. A man may not be very like his father in looks or nature, yet he inherits his property; the State will give the property to the son. It is inherited because it is more outward. The qualities of the body are inherited more than those of the mind, because they are more outward.
Every physical atom of the parents becomes radiant and its qualities are imparted to the child. In the case of the father who has liked drink, the child, of course, is born without the tendency for strong drink, but as it grows and develops, the cells of its body, being the same as those of the father’s, may have the same craving for drink. And so it is with all vices; though the parents would never wish to impart them to their children, yet they do so unconsciously by their weakness and neglect.
Often a man has so much concern for his posterity that he earns money and amasses it, not spending it on himself, in order that he may leave it to his children. He even gives his life on the battlefield that his children may enjoy the fruits of the victory. But if he only knew how much influence the life that he leads has on his posterity he would think it of more value to keep his life pure and elevated, both in health and mind, in order that his children may inherit the wealth of humanity, which is more precious than earthly wealth and possessions.
Coming now to the question whether more qualities are inherited from the paternal side or the maternal side, I will say that the qualities inherited from the father are more deep-seated while those inherited from the mother may be more apparent, because the father’s inheritance is the substance, while the mother’s is the mold. The soul has many more attributes of the father because these are the fundamental, original attributes; the attributes of the mother are added to these, they are more active because they are later attributes. Those qualities which are first impressed upon the soul are stronger, and those attributes which are acquired later are more active. From association with its mother, from her training, a child acquires very many of her attributes. A man may not like the qualities of his father and may hide them. A small child may have a face just like its mother’s, but at some period of its life it will grow so like its father in looks that it is astonishing. A coward by association with brave people may become brave; he may go to the war, but then, when he hears the guns, the cowardice which was the original attribute of his soul will show itself. Although the father’s qualities are stronger, the responsibility of the mother is far greater. It is she who molds the child. The mother’s responsibility is a hundred, a thousand times greater than the father’s. Therefore mystical knowledge is very necessary for women; in these times of civilization this should not be withheld from them. Control of mind is very important for women.
It is the mother’s fear that gives the child fear; her anger gives it anger; her contempt gives it contempt. Her bad surroundings and impressions give the child bad impressions; her good and desirable impressions give the child good and desirable impressions. It is she who molds the human race. From her are born the prophets and murshids. The credit for all good and great people is hers; but at the same time children are often born weak and defective because of her want of control and foolishness. By putting too many coals on the fire, the fire may be covered up and the flame cannot come out.
Krishna is often represented with his mother Devaki, and Christ with his mother the Virgin Mary. This is woman’s greatest merit and glory. In the Gayan it is said, ‘The mother was the stepping-stone of Jesus to Christhood.’ This means that human nature is such that man often forgets, seeing the great glory of the Master, that modest and humble help given at the time of need which enabled the Master to show forth his divine glory. The soul which was to expand as Christ was enabled to come on earth by the mother; and that is why in every case thought and consideration for the mother are important. Even Jesus Christ, the manifestation of the Almighty God, was dependent on his mother for his manifestation.
To be continued…